I encourage clients and friends to call when they're in need of roofers, contractors etc. I have a stable of professionals that I've either worked with personally or who have done quality work for others and I'm only too pleased to pass on their name.
As reported in this blog a few weeks ago, I had a very pleasant and successful experience with an Air Conditioning company I met at the National Home Show. The work they did was excellent and the price was very competitive.
A friend took heed and called them into his home to provide a quote and according to his email, "I didn't get the guy you dealt with. Some other person came and he was the worst salesman ever".
He went on to write: "Started bad talking the guy you dealt with and said that he may be fired for the price you paid. He then went on to say how valuable his time was and with the price of gas these days that I owe him for coming over. He also showed up 45 minutes late and called back twice within 5 minutes to say he would beat anyone else's price by $100. His price was over 500 more for the same unit and questioned where your house was to get the price you did. "
I felt like a heel of course. Referring can be a risky business when there's something on the line (like MY reputation) but fortunately, my friend was understanding and didn't hold me personally accountable for the bad experience.
This is exactly why I'm humbled and honoured when a happy client actively promotes my services to others. This is a significant responsibility not just in terms of doing a good job but also in terms of protecting the reputation of the person that recommends me.